However, since the Times piece was ostensibly about the leaders of the Intelligence Hive Mind amplifying the fear in sworn testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, the sneaky hyperlink insertion was necessarily discreet:
Russia appears eager to spread information — real and fake — that deepens political divisions. Bot armies promoted partisan causes on social media, including the recent push to release a Republican congressional memo critical of law enforcement officials.The Times felt no obligation inform its readers that its linked source, Molly McKew, is a Washington lobbyist posing as a pundit who gets paid big bucks by a couple of Eastern European oligarchs who'd simply love to get rid of Vladimir Putin, who got an outsize share of the loot when the Soviet Union collapsed.
The public instead must be informed that "Russia" is out to destroy American democracy by its constant meddling, and that Donald Trump, by dint of his own failure to condemn Russia all day and every day, is thereby a traitor to his country as well as a likely money-launderer and grifter. What better way to start a war and scapegoat a president, even as they merrily give this same traitorous president billions more dollars than he asked for to continue waging undeclared wars in the Middle East, Africa, and beyond?
If the Media-Political Complex can keep our eyes exclusively glued on Trump and his tabloid bromance with Putin, they won't even need to write a scary front-page story about his American drones just having killed hundreds of people in Syria! When they do report this horror, the targets were only "mercenaries," or "Russians," if not reduced to a solid baker's dozen. In some accounts, since their very nationalities are in doubt, their very humanity is in doubt. They are, in the long run, probably nobody at all. No big deal. Trump's sin is not that he murders and maims people, but that he occasionally has had nice things to say about his frenemy. He is a very convenient smokescreen indeed. When propaganda high beams are leveled at a fog, the cloud only becomes more opaque. And isn't that the whole point?
Meanwhile, as the Times breathlessly informs us:
Russia is already meddling in the midterm elections this year, the top American intelligence officials said on Tuesday, warning that Moscow is using a digital strategy to worsen the country’s political and social divisions.Dan Coats is repeating Molly McKew's talking points right down to the letter. The agenda, obviously, is to cast all domestic dissent as Russian propaganda. American citizens, the majority of whom don't even have a few hundred bucks stashed away to pay for an emergency car repair, would be so satisfied with their lives if it weren't for those Russian bots and trolls amplifying stuff on social media. And if you do dare complain, and if you do express healthy skepticism about the source of your pain and suffering, the implication is that you're really no better than Trump:
Russia is using fake accounts on social media — many of them bots — to spread disinformation, the officials said. European elections are being targeted, too, and the attacks were not likely to end this year, they warned.“We expect Russia to continue using propaganda, social media, false-flag personas, sympathetic spokespeople and other means of influence to try to exacerbate social and political fissures in the United States,” Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, told the Senate Intelligence Committee at its annual hearing on worldwide threats.
The warnings were striking in their contrast to President Trump’s public comments. He has mocked the very notion of Russian meddling in the last election and lashed out at those who suggested otherwise.The Intelligence Committee's top Democrat, Mark Warner, re-amplified the pivot point "tell" of McKew's flimsy Narrative Architecture, which maintains that even though the dissent might initially be all-American, the fact that "Russian bots" are co-opting it renders it dangerous and meaningless and downright unpatriotic - especially when citizens start accusing the FBI, the NSA and the CIA of political motivations:
Translation: Shut up, get off the streets, return to your homes, lock your doors, draw the curtains and love Big Brother as he spies upon you for your own good. Your thinking has been corrupted, but we're here to help you and purify you and keep you safe.“Other threats to our institutions come from right here at home,” he said. “There have been some, aided and abetted by Russian internet bots and trolls, who have attacked the basic integrity of the F.B.I. and the Justice Department. This is a dangerous trend.”
The only dangerous trend I could see in that paragraph was Mark Warner himself. If anything, he is even scarier than Donald Trump, because he cloaks himself with such a patina of phony virtue.